Latest Must-Reads in Public Diplomacy

The March 2015 edition of Bruce Gregory's public diplomacy reading list is now available. Known affectionately at CPD as "Bruce's List," this list is a compilation of books, journal articles, papers and blogs on a wide variety of PD topics, and features a number of CPD scholars. Highlights in this edition include:

Christina Archetti“Terrorism, Communication and New Media: Explaining Radicalization in the Digital Age,” Perspectives on Terrorism, Vol. 9, Issue 1, February 2015, 49-59.  Archetti (University of Salford, UK) challenges misunderstandings about the role of technologies and concepts of strategic communication and narratives in countering violent extremism.  Her article examines the social construction of individual and collective narratives and the role played by mediated technologies in extending them through “indirect relationships” and “imagined communities.”  Archetti concludes with a brief discussion of a communication-based framework for understanding radicalism and lessons for counter-terrorism.

Maria Luisa AzpírozSoft Power and Public Diplomacy: The Case of the European Union in Brazil,” CPD Perspectives, USC Center on Public Diplomacy, March 2015.  Azpíroz (University of Liege, Belgium) identifies and analyzes the EU's public diplomacy activities in Brazil.  She examines their challenges and potential in a conceptual framework that emphasizes creation of collaborative networks and “normative power” used in combination with economic instruments in what she calls “civil power.”  Her paper focuses on activities of the European External Action Service in the EU's relations with Latin America, Mercosur, and Brazil during the years 2011-2013.  Azpíroz concludes that “cultural, educational, and scientific components constitute the best assets of EU public diplomacy in Brazil.”  CPD has published her paper in English and in Spanish.

“On the Right Side of History: Public Diplomacy & LGBT Rights Today,” Public Diplomacy Magazine, USC Association of Public Diplomacy Scholars, Issue 13, Winter 2015.  This edition of PD Magazine contains 18 short essays by scholars and practitioners on LGBT issues in the study and practice of diplomacy. 

Peter Pomerantsev and Michael Weiss“The Menace of Unreality: How the Kremlin Weaponizes Information, Culture and Money,” The Interpreter, Institute of Modern Russia, November 22, 2014.  In this 43-page paper, Pomerantsev (journalist and author of Nothing is True and Everything is Possible) and Weiss (editor-in-chief of The Interpreter and columnist for Foreign Policy) argue that Russia systematically uses “information not in the familiar terms of 'persuasion,' 'public diplomacy' or even 'propaganda,' but in weaponized terms, as a tool to confuse, blackmail, demoralize, subvert and paralyze.” Information, cultural organizations, and money, they contend, are central elements in Putin's “concept of 'non-linear war.'”  Their paper offers a variety of recommendations on ideas and tools needed to understand and respond to a strategy that uses culture and money to enable aggression and “freedom of speech as a way to subvert the very possibility of debate.”

To review the entire list, click here.